Prerequisite Courses

What are the required prerequisite courses?
Applicants are required to complete one half-course in human physiology, one half-course in human anatomy, one full-course or two-half courses in life and/or physical sciences, one full-course or two half-courses in social sciences and/or humanities and/or languages, and one-half course in statistics or research methods.

I completed a combined human anatomy/physiology course. Can I use this?
Yes. Combined human anatomy/physiology courses are acceptable as long as applicants have one full-course equivalent.

Can prerequisites be in progress at the time of application?
Yes, as long as they are completed no later than May 31. We normally need a final transcript showing completion of degree and all prerequisites by June 30.

What should my human anatomy course include?
Course content must be comprehensive, covering gross anatomy of the human musculoskeletal, visceral, and neurological systems. You can find acceptable human anatomy courses from across Canada at our Prerequisite Verification page.

What should my human physiology course include?
Human physiology is the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts. The course should cover the principles of human physiology including the living cell, the internal environment; neuro-muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and endocrine systems; metabolism; reproduction; and homeostasis. You can find acceptable human physiology courses from across Canada at our Prerequisite Verification page.

Can I use a plant or plant/animal physiology course to satisfy the human physiology prerequisite?
No. However, you may use these courses towards the life/physical sciences prerequisite.

Can I use an exercise physiology course to satisfy the human physiology prerequisite?
No. However, you may use these courses towards the life and/or physical sciences prerequisite.

What are life and/or physical science courses?
Life science is the study of living things. Examples include biology, zoology, biochemistry, basic medical sciences, pathology, etc. Physical science involves the study of non-living systems. Examples include biomechanics, chemistry, physics, geology, physical geography, etc.

Can I use a human/social/urban geography course to satisfy the life and/or physical science prerequisite?
No. However, you may use these courses towards the social science and/or humanities and/or languages prerequisite.

What are social sciences and/or humanities and/or languages courses?
Social science is the scientific study of human society and social relationships. Examples include anthropology, political science, economics, sociology, psychology, etc. Humanities are academic disciplines which study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytic, critical, or speculative. Examples include history, religion, philosophy, classics, literature/English, etc. Languages involve the study of spoken or written communication. Examples include the study of specific languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, etc.

What are Statistics or Research Methods courses?
Statistics is the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities. Research methods is the systematic investigation to evaluate data. You can find equivalent statistics and research methods courses at our Prerequisite Verification page.

Where do psychology courses fit?
Psychology courses can be used as a social science prerequisite only.

Where do biological psychology and exercise psychology courses fit?
Psychology courses can be used as a social science prerequisite only.

I completed my prerequisite courses more than seven years ago. Do I need to take them again?
Yes, they should be taken again. Prerequisite courses must be completed within the last seven years. 

I need to complete some prerequisite courses in the summer, after your June 30 deadline. Can I still apply?
No. Applicants must be able to forward a final transcript showing the completion of all prerequisite courses by June 30, prior to the September start date. Applicants not able to meet this requirement are advised to apply in the following year.

Can I combine two half courses in different disciplines to satisfy one prerequisite area?
Yes. For example, within the life and/or physical science prerequisite, it is acceptable to complete one half-course equivalent in anatomy and one half-course equivalent in chemistry. Prerequisite courses may be taken at any University provided the level of education is equivalent to or on par with the courses at the University of Toronto.

I did better in a third year kinesiology course that I think fits the life science category than I did in my basic biology course. Can I use the kinesiology course to satisfy the life science prerequisite? 
Applicants must have earned a minimum grade of B- (or 70%) in all prerequisite courses, as per the grade recorded on the transcript. If you earned a B- or 70%, use the basic biology course, as it likely meets our criteria the best. Grades you received in your prerequisite courses will not be counted as part of the GPA calculation, unless they are within the last 20 half-courses completed.

What does a full course equivalent mean at my school?
Universities across Canada often use different credit systems. Typically, a full course at the University of Toronto is equivalent to six credits (a full year course or two semester course), and half courses are worth three credits (half-year course or one semester course).

Can university web-based courses or distance education courses be used to satisfy the prerequisites?
Yes, this is acceptable, provided that these courses were taken at a recognized university. These courses must be considered equivalent to a regular university  level degree course. Some schools offer both degree level courses and non-degree level courses. Always check with the registrar at the particular school you are attending to verify that these courses are degree level, even if they are not technically part of a specific degree.

I completed my prerequisites at the college level. Is this acceptable?
Prerequisites completed at the college level will only be accepted if they have been transferred to a university transcript with equivalent courses and grades (or pass/fail) clearly stated on the university transcript. For example, Physiology 101 at College X is Physiology 1060 at University Y. The college level prerequisite course(s) cannot be grouped together as a batch of transfer credits on the university transcript. Additionally, it must be clear that the transferred course(s) covered the required content.  These transfer credits can be listed with a grade or as pass/fail on the university transcript however, they will not be counted as part of the sub-GPA calculation if they are listed as pass/fail on the University transcript. If the courses are listed as pass/fail on the University transcript, the mark on the college transcript must still be a minimum of a 70%. If college level courses are completed after finishing your degree and these college courses have not been officially transferred to a university transcript, then they will not be accepted towards admission prerequisites. Acceptability of college level credits towards prerequisites is at the discretion of the Department. 

How do I know if my prerequisite courses are equivalent to University of Toronto courses?
You must verify that your human anatomy, human/vertebrate physiology, and statistics/research methods courses will be accepted by visiting our Prerequisite Verification page. We do not list life and/or physical science courses or social science and/or humanities and/or languages courses because these categories are very broad and encompass hundreds of possible choices.

How do I enter a prerequisite course currently in progress in my ORPAS application?  
If you are currently enrolled in a course that you are using as a prerequisite, input the grade as “IPR” to indicate that the course is in-progress. Note: You must arrange for a transcript to be sent to ORPAS to prove you are enrolled in this course.

I still have a specific question. What should I do?
You should first review our How to Apply page and our other FAQ sections. If you still need help, e-mail physther.facmed@utoronto.ca or call us at 416 946 8641.